Sorry for the light posting. I have been working at my Dad's and have been tired, busy with home chores and without Internet service again.
When I did get the Internet back tonight, I read with sorrow that Memsahib, AKA Linda Rawles, has passed. Please keep James and his family in your thoughts. James has tirelessly give thousand of postings to the survivalist community but has not asked for anything in return even at this moment.
Given the need to save for the sales taxes on the newest car, we haven't done any thing to up our preparedness inventory except put a little cash in the safe. I have given up on buying books for their entertainment value but borrow them from the library instead. The only books that I actually buy all deal with medical knowledge, guns, how-to, homesteading, building and things of that nature.
Can you work on your own vehicles? A lot of newer cars make it difficult to do your own wrenchin'. If you have some aptitude, there are a lot of things you can do yourself. Change the oil, rotate the tires, check and adjust the fluid levels, change a tire , change the filters, change the spark plugs. With a little planning and shopping you can save big buck with diy auto maintenance and repair. Last week my brother and I changed the front springs on our vehicles. 150 bucks for the springs was the total cost. A shop would have added 30-50% to the parts cost, added in a set of lower ball joints at about 80 dollars and charged 2-3 hours shop labor at 85 bucks per hour. Then add the "environmental fee", the expendables fee and sales tax and your looking at something north of 550 dollars. That's a lot of incentive to work on your own vehicle. I personally have changed brakes, axle bearings, u-joints, axle shaft u-joints, transmissions, engines, axles, differentials, heater cores, converted the a/c from r-12 to r-34 (and got offered a job in the process), changed body panels, replaced water and power steering pumps, replaced radiators and alternators, added electrical accessories, repaired floor pans, wired for trailer lights, made trailer hitches, mounted tires, changed camshafts and done all my own tune-ups. And I'm not a mechanic. Nor was I mechanically inclined as a kid. I cannot fathom the money I have saved by doing all this myself. One of these days I'll tell you what I've done in the home repair/building arena. So we come to this, as I have asked before, what can you do?